“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
― Booker T. Washington
Porikolpona Foundation started its journey during the tough times of Covid-19 after its founder, Farhan Faiyaz, realised the significance of spreading awareness about the virus, and how the general public of Dhaka, especially the lower class citizens were ignorant about the intensity of the virus. What started off as an awareness campaign organised by few friends — Muhaimin Wasif Anindo, Rizwan Chowdhury, Raiyan Faiyaz, Mashrur Hassan Mahee and Farhan Faiyaz — on the streets of Uttara, soon transformed into a full fledged organisation that started helping people with the necessary food items.
Since its inception, the goal of this organisation has been to mitigate the food crisis and provide the less-fortunate people with food, completely free of cost. When the lockdown was strictly imposed and the working-class was running out of money to buy food for their families, Porikolpona Foundation took it upon themselves to make donation packages of 500 taka each, which along with the essentials, also carried handwashes, masks, and often sanitisers. In a span of only 3 days, they raised over 1 lakh taka from the general public, mostly consisting of friends and family of everyone working for Porikolpona Foundation. The money helped them reach over 100 families which totals to over 500 people initially, and that was it. Porikolpona did not have to look back again.
Slowly this organisation’s reach spread to different parts of Bangladesh, like Barisal, Satkhira, Jhenaida and Rangpur, to name a few. Over 5000 people have received aid from Porikolpona Foundation in the form of food and other safety essentials in these last three months. This is still ongoing as regular donations flow in.
Their most impactful campaign, “Project HashiMukh”, was conducted during the holy month of Ramadan when everyday over a 100 people were given iftar by Porikolpona. A very impactful “Amphan Relief” project was also conducted under the leadership of Tayeba Sharif in Satkhira, where the storm did the most damage.
Apart from this, very recently, Porikolpona collaborated with Docterio to establish “Project Niramoy” in order to provide people with medical advice absolutely free of cost. During the last Eid-Ul-Adha, the organisation raised money and provided special Eid packages to the lesser privileged. Besides, an entire cow was sacrificed and donated too.
Porikolpona dedicates its success story to their maintenance of transparency of all sorts of transactions that were made and by whom they were made. They actively maintain a spreadsheet to keep account of every penny that flows in. They believe this is why they were able to gain the trust of the mass and soon became a household name in such a short time.
Farhan believes that the most important obstacle has been tackled, which was for the people to trust in the foundation. However, they do plan on turning into a social enterprise so that they do not have to always rely on donations coming in, but can also self-sustain themselves.
The August issue of TDA, Youth in Philanthropy, intends to honour those youth-led organisations which are working selflessly to bring about a change in the society.
Approached by Tayeba Sharif